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Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America
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Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  150 ratings  ·  32 reviews
There is no better time to stand up for your values than when they are under attack.

In the decade following the attacks of 9/11, suspicion and animosity toward American Muslims has increased rather than subsided. Alarmist, hateful rhetoric once relegated to the fringes of political discourse has now become frighteningly mainstream, with pundits and politicians routinely in
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Published August 14th 2012 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan Rice
Eboo Patel is a Muslim interfaith leader of Indian descent who is arguing that the faith line has replaced the color line as the salient social issue in America. Furthermore, he argues that freedom of religion and the acceptance of all faiths is the American way, and that the originally Protestant America has in the past stretched to encompass Jews and Catholics. Now, he says, it's Muslims' turn to be accepted.

In the rhetorical sense, then, the book is deliberative in type, since the author is
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Katherine
I was so excited to have received this book through GoodReads First Reads - I consider myself a Christian Universalist and I tend to be both pluralistic and syncretic in my beliefs, so the idea of interfaith relationships and plurality is something of utmost importance to me. Add that to the very deep affection and respect I have for the religion that is Islam, and I was absolutely overjoyed reading this - it has really become one of my favorite books, out of all I have read. I have a great resp ...more
Rob Skirving
The timing is perfect! This morning, I finished Sacred Ground and tomorrow I will attend the open house for the new mosque in our community. Eboo Patel's words have encouraged me to find new ways to build and strengthen relationships with my interfaith neighbors. His stories of the work of IFYC on college campuses has taken me back to my own college experiences of multi-faith study and relationships.

These words, from page 138, caught my attention ...
"Interfaith - how our orientation around our r
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Greg
I read this leading up to, during, and finished just after the IFYC Interfaith Leadership Institute in Atlanta. What I instantly appreciated about this book is it take Patel's idealism around this issue and confronts it with the realities of challenging situations we face in society today. Patel is authentic in explaining his own development on these issues and uses stories again to show how the interfaith cooperation framework the IFYC espouses came to be. This work is really important and I am ...more
Darin Stewart
An excellent if basic introduction to the importance of Interfaith efforts in the modern world. Patel draws on his experiences leading the Interfaith Youth Corps to describe much of what works and what doesn't. I wish he went into more depth and offered more practical advice for promoting interfaith activities. Nevertheless, the book clearly articulates the need to find a way to honor ones own faith without denigrating the faith of others. This alone makes it well worth the read.
Greg Bolt


This book, once again, gives me hope, challenges my ministry, and inspires me to do more than I thought I could.
Katie
Important words - it really resonated with me
Jim Leesch
It's hard to argue with the underlying message that Mr. Patel puts forward. Members of different faiths have more in common than differences, and the way forward is through cooperation. As an atheist, though, I found myself dissatisfied with the book's exclusive focus on coming together over (or in spite of) matters of faith. Those of us who define our world-view in ways other than through faith in some being greater than man have always found these sectarian conflicts to be missing a larger poi ...more
Abby
Not much here that is new to me since attending one of IFYC's leadership institutes, so Eboo is still preaching to the choir. But I would sing in Eboo Patel's choir any day of the week. Why? Because this is the gospel I've been waiting to hear since I was six years old, when my first questions surfaced about how Mom's church was different from Dad's church and what to do with my divided loyalties. In all that time, not one person told me that I could celebrate religious diversity as a full and f ...more
Tyler Frankenberg
Candid reflections on interfaith organizing from one of the key players in the movement. Insightful recollections on the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy that made me blush for embarrassment in the American news media. Very personal reflections on interfaith journey or raising a Muslim child in a catholic school system and secular society were the highlight of the book.
Lisa
As the Interfaith Youth Core grew, it became more of a political mobilization tool than an organizing deeply and critically engaged in dialogue--so did Patel's writing.
Robert D. Cornwall
I will confess -- I'm a big fan of Eboo Patel's work. I enjoyed immensely Acts of Faith, and this book is no different. He shares the importance of living one's faith, faithfully, in a world of religious diversity, while building bridges of cooperation. He begins with the story of the opposition to the so-called Ground Zero Mosque and concludes with a story of raising his own son as a faithful Muslim in this world of religious diversity -- where respecting the other and finding one's own faith r ...more
Kate
A quick read outlining his work and experiences as the founder of Interfaith Youth Core, Eboo Patel's Sacred Ground touches upon the oppression, insecurity, and victimization people of all religious backgrounds have felt and responded to. Furthermore, this book shows readers why working with people of other faiths and backgrounds is the way to a better tomorrow. I enjoyed the pieces where Patel draws from his own experiences as a youth and also as a father. A positive book that draws from many d ...more
Eric
In truth I'd give it 4.5 stars.

Patel's is an important voice in our discordant times. He lays out the complexities of our multi-faith reality and proposes thought-provoking question which must be considered if we are to build a world that can ever move closer to peace.

Like his first book, Acts of Faith, this is a compelling read. It is especially important to hear his voice as a Muslim-American as Muslims face wide-spread ignorance and often wholesale hatred because of the acts of a few.
Emily
I was clearly not the intended audience for this book, but I think it does what it sets out to do reasonably well. Patel is trying to sell interfaith work as a core part of what it means to be American to a moderate-to-conservative audience. I think he chooses good stories to do that, even if his organization only works with institutions of high education and even if I am not personally sold on the argument based in patriotism.
Sadia
I read this book in a partnership with a local church fellowship. The book helped me to see that there is a long American tradition of vilifying and hating the other. Right now, it's Muslims who are public enemy #1 but it was once Catholics, the Irish, Jews, etc. Fear and hate mongering can be overcome through service and true relationship building. I'm glad that eboo reminds us, we can all be friends.
Aaron
Oct 09, 2013 Aaron rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ministers, youth workers, college admissions programs
An interesting look at the challenges faced by interfaith workers, particularly from the IFYC perspective, and, I suppose, non-profits in general. How do you measure the effectiveness of what you're doing? How do you focus your strengths? Plus, the idea of teaching religious pluralism is very engaging to me personally, because I see it as a pillar for future generations. Definitely worth a read.
Steve
A lot more practical and useful for interfaith work than I anticipated. Helps to put a lot of the trends in religious conflict in perspective. Great read overall!
Darlene
Dec 15, 2012 Darlene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book as a first read in Aug- This book is very interesting reading. being brought up in family with different religious background- I can understand where Patel is coming from. We as a society need to realize that we each have the same belief. We may now call him the same thing but we all believe in the same thing.
And that is what Eboo Patel is saying here.
Sam
This should be required reading on every college campus! It was meaningful, relevant, powerful, and most of all inspirational. Real change could happen if young people everywhere read this book. It's one of the rare books that can do that. I can't say enough about it. So I made this review short on purpose. Just read it and you'll see what I mean.
Lynne
Eboo Patel does it again. While the themes of this book will be familiar to anyone who had read his earlier work or heard him speak, there is much here that is new -- always interesting, sometimes provocative, and at times very personal. A great call to action for the next phase of the interfaith movement.
Taquiena
I found Patel's definition of theology compelling: a coherent narrative that references Scripture, stories, history, heroes, poetry, and so on from the cumulative historical tradition of the faith community, I now wonder how this definition applies to my faith community.
Jennifer
Excellent book by the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, a group founded with the idea that if people of different faiths work together on social justice projects and get to know each other their will be less religious prejudice.
Kerri
This book has pushed me to think about how I "coach" people within the congregation I serve to tell their own story and interact with others. One I'll pull off the shelf on a regular basis.
Sylvia
Interesting... but Patel is a more engaging speaker than writer.
Stephen
This book provides a valuable introduction to the conversation with a clear example of where our nation needs to continue growing in order to truly be a land of religious freedom.
Kara Baylor
This is a wonderful book that lays out why it is so important to learn how to live together in an interfaith world. Faith strengthening for me.
Benjamin
A personal, optimistic narrative of the inspirations and setbacks facing those at the forefront of the interfaith movement in the 21st century.
Eva Thompson
Sep 19, 2012 Eva Thompson is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent-favorites
This guy is brilliant and I'm glad he's out there doing what he does in the world. His books should be required reading for all Americans.
Dee Halzack
Some good ideas, but the stories of anti-Muslim incidents made me very sad.
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Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization building the global interfaith youth movement. Author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith, Eboo is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today and CNN. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Adviso ...more
More about Eboo Patel...
Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation Building the Interfaith Youth Movement: Beyond Dialogue to Action Faitheist: How An Atheist Found Common Ground With The Religious Hearing the Call Across Traditions: Readings on Faith and Service Interfaith Dialogue at the Grass Roots

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